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- June 18, 2012
- Vol. 77
- No. 25
Richard Dawson: 1932-2012
The Game-Show Master Lavished Thousands of Kisses on Family Feud-and Leaves Behind a Loving Family of His Own
And the merriment never let up. The British-born TV icon, who was 79 when he died of complications from esophageal cancer June 2 in L.A., started out as a comic and graduated to sitcoms-he was safe-cracker Corporal Newkirk on Hogan's Heroes (1965-71)-before landing Feud in 1976. Dawson, who parodied his freewheeling image in the 1987 Arnold Schwarzenegger film The Running Man, had two signatures: the catchphrase "Survey says ..." and a fondness for kissing female contestants-an estimated 20,000 over his 10 seasons on Feud. One of the women he smooched, Gretchen Johnson, became his second wife in 1991. She survives him, along with two sons and a daughter. Son Gary described him as "an amazing talent, a loving husband, a great dad and a doting grandfather." As Dawson once told PEOPLE, "I may be smarmy, but I must be doing something right."
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